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The European Gender Equality Index: Conceptual and Analytical Issues

Abstract

This article presents a composite indicator designed to measure and compare existing structural gender equality in the countries of the European Union. The construction of an index is always a complex task which requires making a great many important conceptual, analytical and empirical decisions. This complexity explains the wide variety of gender equality indices created during the last 25 years. All the proposed indices attempt to measure the same thing, gender (in)equality, but none of them define the concept they want to measure in exactly the same way, nor do they operationalize measurement in the same manner. Taking into account the methodology of these preceding approaches, this article explains the basis for the most important analytical and conceptual decisions made in constructing the European Gender Equality Index. The article also includes the overall scores obtained by the 27 European countries on this index, on its three basic dimensions (education, work and power), and on the eighteen indicators that make up its structure. With this data, corresponding to 2009, an adequate analysis of gender equality in Europe can be established.

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Notes

  1. \( \log \left( {x \cdot y} \right) = \log (x) + \log (y) \); \( \log \left( {{x \mathord{\left/ {\vphantom {x y}} \right. \kern-\nulldelimiterspace} y}} \right) = \log (x) - \log (y) \)

  2. ln 20/80 = −1.386 and ln 80/20 = +1.386.

  3. Even if indicators are standardized, the correlation structure will also affect the Index scores, hence more correlated indicators will have greater impact than those that are randomly correlated with the rest.

  4. \( \mathcal{W}_{ijk} = \frac{1}{{n_{i} }} \cdot \frac{1}{{n_{j} }} \cdot \frac{1}{{n_{k} }}\mathcal{W}_{ijk} \) is the implicit weighting of indicator k, pertaining to subdimension j, and to dimension i. With \( n_{i} \) being the number of dimensions of the index; \( n_{j} \) the number of subdimensions of dimension i; and \( n_{k} \) the number of indicators of subdimension j.

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Correspondence to Eduardo Bericat.

Appendix

Appendix

See Tables 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

Table 1 Proposed indices to measure gender (in)equality: 1984–2010
Table 2 Content structure of the european gender equality index (EGEI)
Table 3 European gender equality index (EGEI)
Table 4 European gender equality index (EGEI). Scores by country, 2009
Table 5 European gender equality index (EGEI). Ratios by country, 2009
Table 6 Gender equality indices
Table 7 Pearson correlation coefficients of gender equality indices in European countries

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Bericat, E. The European Gender Equality Index: Conceptual and Analytical Issues. Soc Indic Res 108, 1–28 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-011-9872-z

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Keywords

  • Social indicators
  • Indices
  • Gender equality
  • Social stratification
  • Europe